Wharfedale 16 Fylde 10: Winger Horsfall hits Fylde with late strike

A dramatic last-minute corner try by winger Simon Horsfall sealed victory in a tight and hard-fought cross-Pennine derby.

The win extends The Greens’ impressive recent run to a fifth straight victory and arguably represents their best performance in that sequence.

If Wharfedale are finally finding some true form Fylde, though challenging at the top of the table, were a fading force compared to their early-season exploits, happy to cling on for a losing bonus point as the final home conversion sailed wide.

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Wharfedale, as was the case last week, dominated the second half with a completeness that totally shut Fylde out of a match that until then they had just shaded to lead 10 -8 at the break.

In a first half where both sides had difficulty finding a top gear, the visitors went ahead after 17 minutes with a line-out drive try in the corner by hooker Jon Roddam.

Wharfedale replied with a Tom Davidson penalty after creative play had failed to utilise an overlap. The visitors increased their lead with the one fluent move at pace either side managed in the half when full-back Chris Briers finished off swift, short-side passing to ground the ball in the corner.

After the break, the Wharfedale pack took charge, subjecting Fylde to a punishing examination at the breakdown where the Greens back-row was again in explosive form.

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The combative Fylde pack, intermittently destructive at the maul and neat in their close-quarters off-loading, were frequently turned over on the floor. Wharfedale were sharper at the tackle and retained possession impressively.

Following constant pressure, Scott Jordan wriggled free in the corner.

Davidson’s touchline conversion sailed just wide but he added a long penalty midway through the half to give the Greens the lead.

With the extra encouragement of Paul Arnold’s 73rd-minute yellow card, Wharfedale completed their afternoon with their inevitable and deserved second try when Rob Baldwin’s neat interplay with Phil Woodhead at the back of a scrum sent the winger over to complete the scoring to cap a wonderful performance.